Whoever said “Business without a marketing strategy is like a plane without wings” was absolutely right. You can have the best website in the world and the greatest idea in your mind, but if you don’t reach your customers, they will never know about you. This is when you realize that you need a marketing plan for your company! But which marketing strategy will be best for you? Social media? Google? Newspapers? None of these? Let us discuss content marketing and the best marketing strategy for you and your business.
What is content marketing?
Marketing specialists quite often forget about one thing – there are real people on the other side of the screen. These people are looking at your product or service and those people are just like you. They are not robots responding to parameters of your campaign or optimization for clicks or conversions. They actually have their own thoughts, feelings, and opinions. The ability to convince them that your product or service is the best is what we call marketing. That is right, and this is marketing, no matter what other definitions you have heard before. It is simply a skill to present yourself in a way that is appealing to others. And how can you do it in the best possible way? Show them what you have or what you do, which is called – content marketing.
Why is it so effective?
To understand the secret behind the effectiveness of content marketing, you have to understand what is “content”. Content is something that gives value to your prospective customers, readers, friends or family. And if it gives them any value, it makes them feel good and they feel grateful, is that correct? No need to answer, we know it is correct, and you felt that many many times in your life.
Someone told you interesting information, gave you a gift or helped you, and suddenly you liked him and you wanted to do the same for him, or even more. It is the basics of human psychology, and it is the main principle for content marketing. Give people value and people will like you and get back to you again and again. By creating interesting content, you also give your new customers a chance to actually find you by browsing YouTube videos or searching the Internet.
How to execute content marketing properly?
In order to be successful, you have to obey a few rules, and if you do that, you will be successful.
- Create your content with a customer in mind, not your own advantages. When you create content, you have to make sure that primarily you want to deliver value to your customers, and not sell them something. If you create a video showing how cool your product is and immediately you will try to sell it, the customers will feel that your intention was not genuine and your product might not be so cool after all.
- Create content regularly. If you create one video and then write an article a few months later, you should not expect customers to be coming to you every day. You should create some content daily, even if it’s just a Facebook/Instagram story. It should be happening regularly because believe it or not, customers will simply forget you.
- Remember that people like to interact with people. Feature yourself in the video, add a personal touch to your article. It will have a much better effect than just focusing on a thing. Which sentence speaks to you more? “This drone weighs 365g and has a 20mpx camera with filters, and it is very quiet.” or “I took my drone with me on holidays, and one evening, during sunset I made the most amazing video of my family traveling through the mountains. Everyone loved it so much”.
- Meet people who can help you spread the news about your product or service and offer it to them in exchange for good reviews. If someone that you trust recommends a product or service to you, you are more likely to use it than if you just saw an ad of it somewhere on the internet. It is because a part of your trust for the person who shared it with you will be credited to the company that was recommended.
Ok, so you have the basic theory about the content that you will be creating. Now, do you know how to deliver it?
Content Marketing Strategy
To make content marketing successful, you need a strategy. Creating a video and leaving it on your laptop will not get you any new audience. So how to deliver your content to new users? The answer is very simple: in any possible way! You should try all kinds of content and publish it in many different places, shapes, and forms to see what works best for you. But most of all, you should make sure that you deliver it consistently. And the best tool for this purpose is Marketing Automation software.
What is Marketing Automation?
We all know the standard newsletter where you can prepare a message relevant at the specific point in time and send it across to your contacts, right? But marketing automation is something completely different. Software used for marketing automation allows you to prepare a specific customer journey for different groups of customers, which will be relevant to their specific point in time. Before I explain what it means, let me tell you a few words about your customers.
Who are my customers, and what do they expect?
These are the questions that should have already been answered by you. If they haven’t – please spend some time now thinking about it. To create attractive content for your customers, you must know anything possible about their lifestyle, hobbies, families, schools, grades, and jobs. I assume you don’t expect to walk into a group of mums and offer them graphics cards for PC and expect high sales. Why do people think that marketing on the internet is any different? You must prepare the right product for the right audience but also at the right time.
And the reality is that:
of the customers that you will reach at any specific time will be ready to buy your product or use your service. But you compete with a lot of people to gain that 3%, so chances are that you will not be meeting the people from this group every day.
of customers are the customers who made the decision about buying a product or service that you are also offering but just not now. Maybe it will happen in a week or 2 weeks. And you can tell one thing for certain, if your company isn’t there on time, they will buy from someone else.
of the customers are people who identified their need to buy a product or service, but they haven’t made any plans to acquire it yet. Given enough time, they will move to the upper 7%, and then to the top 3% and one day, they will buy it from a company that they will trust at that point in time.
of people you will encounter have not yet identified the need to buy or use a specific product or service. Does it mean that you should not advertise your product to them? Not at all. By good content marketing, you can always create the need! Before I decided I wanted to buy a drone, I am sure some company or a friend, had shown me a beautiful video that they had shot with their drone. On that day I must have thought “I want to create videos like that”. On that day the need was created and the company who stayed with me for the next 9 months, managed to sell me one.
The last 30%
of people are the people who will not buy from your company at all. They might be loyal to other companies or simply they can be a group of mums, without PCs while you are trying to sell them a graphic card.
Marketing Automation software is something which helps you to target people on all those levels and stay with them until they move to the top 3%.
How Marketing Automation Works?
Imagine 2 customers. The first one has been loyal to you for many months because you have already sent him many interesting newsletters and videos, and he is actually ready to buy. At the same time, a new customer joins your newsletter list, and you send the same letter to both of them, offering them directly to buy your product. How will each one respond? The client who already knows you and is ready to buy will probably buy the product. But the client who is new to your business will most likely feel offended and will leave your marketing list. You have just lost him forever.
Marketing automation was created to keep individual customers in mind when preparing a customer journey. You decide when and what they will receive but the journey starts for each customer individually the moment they join your list. So going up to our previous scenario, the customer who has been with you for some time can receive a message encouraging him to buy, but the customer who has just joined will receive a completely different message, showing him how fun it can be to use your product, or just another funny cat video.
Marketing automation tools are targeting the top 70% of customers instead of just top 3%. If you are using it properly, you can really have amazing results.
A few final words about the paid marketing
Do you know the saying “If Your Product is Really Good, It Should Sell Itself”? It is true and paid marketing should only amplify the result, but it should never be the only method of selling. Once you create enough great content, you can offer it to new customers by using paid marketing. Without that content in the first place – you have nothing to attract them and keep them with you. Also, don’t forget that any content created and put out there on the internet will stay there forever. It will be indexed by search engines and will help your website rank higher with time. It will attract a lot of customers who will come from referral pages, searching, or simply people telling other people about your company.
Finally, you should never underestimate the power of people spreading a good word about your company because it is and it has always been the most powerful marketing strategy ever created.
We still haven’t convinced you to pay for your advertising? Read the article Advertising in social media is a must, but why? There you will find even more information on why it is so hard to to be noticed with your content in Internet, especially in social media.
And what is your experience with content marketing?